South African real estate startup set to shake up the industry

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Leadhome thinks South African real estate is stagnant and believes it has what it takes to shake it up with a melange of traditional and innovative services.

The company was founded by long term friends by long-time friends Marcél du Toit (pictured left) and Harry Hattingh (pictured right).The pair met in 2001 when they were studying undergraduate degrees at the University of Stellenbosch and have been friends ever since. Du Toit was previously the vice president in Corporate Finance and M&A at Deutsche Bank, and Harry Hattingh was a founding member of In2Assets Gauteng.

Hattingh initially came with the idea while working as a commercial and residential real estate broker in Johannesburg. He thought he had a better way to sell properties than the status quo and approached du Toit in 2014 with the idea. The plan was to set up an online platform to deliver excellent customer service. Since then the idea has changed but it’s now turned into Leadhome. Du Toit says the pair have stayed true to their mission, which is “to provide our clients with the best possible service and outcomes for the lowest possible fee.”

The company self-funded and operates on a fixed fee instead of traditional commission. The amount charged is R29 995 (excluding VAT) and is charged regardless of the size of the property being sold. “In our experience it takes as much work to sell a R100 000 home as it does to sell a R10-million home; just because your home is worth more, you shouldn’t be penalised in the form of a high commission. Likewise, you shouldn’t be shortchanged on service because you don’t live in a Sandton penthouse,” adds du Toit.

Du Toit said smaller players need to charge higher fees in order to cover high fixed costs. Their small size means they’re also limited to how many properties and potential customers they can handle at a time, When asked what sets Leadhome aside from other smaller estate agents, that can operate like startups in order to make sales.

Source: Venture burn

 

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